Former International Criminal Court (ICC) prosecutor Luis Moreno Ocampo could find himself in trouble, after accusations of using his position to help high profile inductees escape the hook emerged.
Leaked Investigative documents documents by reputable media outlets among them Germany’s Der Spiegel, a French investigative website Mediapart, a top Dutch daily NRC Handelsblad and European Investigative Collaborations (EIC) linked the former prosecutor in a scheme to aide some individuals from trial, Kenyan 2007/08 post-election violence cases being one of them.
This has prompted the current Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda to direct probe on two of her staff connected to the Ocampo's allegations after the contents of some 40,000 ICC-related documents leaked to the public.
“As prosecutor, I view such allegations with concern and take them very seriously. I have reported the allegations implicating two members of my staff to the Independent Oversight Mechanism (IOM) available to the court within its legal framework. The IOM has determined that the matter will proceed to a full investigation,” Bensouda said in a statement on Thursday.
“As this matter unfolds and the allegations are fairly and properly scrutinised, speculation should not be entertained. Rather, the procedures and processes in place aimed at establishing the facts must be respected, with full cooperation with the investigation, as required.”
The documents exposes Ocampo's lack of honesty and integrity required of holders of the office of the Prosecutor. This erodes the good image the Argentine earned after the indictment of high-profile government figures including President Kenyatta, Deputy President William Ruto and the issuance of warrants of arrest against Sudan President Omar al Bashir.
“The documents paint a picture of a chief prosecutor who is compliant, craves attention, accepts conflicts of interest and apparently has a problem with money. For years Ocampo, a self-avowed champion for transparency, owned companies in several tax havens,” Spiegel says in its report.
Ocampo is accused of using his position to influence the manner in which the Office of the Prosecutor should conduct investigations, especially those touching high profile cases. He is alleged to have connived with former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan to give “an honourable exit” to a powerful Kenyan charged with crimes against humanity after the 2007/08 post-election skirmishes.
Reports suggests that Ocampo did all this behind the back of the current prosecutor Fatou Bensouda.
“My office has already stated, in response to media queries, that it has not initiated contact, sought advice or collaborated with the former ICC Prosecutor, Mr Ocampo, in relation to any of the situations or cases being handled by the Office or the court since I assumed office as prosecutor,” Ms Bensouda said.
“I have, in the past, personally made my position on this clear to Mr Ocampo and have asked him, in unequivocal terms, to refrain from any public pronouncement or activity that may, by virtue of his prior role as ICC prosecutor, be perceived to interfere with the activities of the Office or harm its reputation,” she added.
The reports also allege that Ocampo was involved in a deal to receive $3 million (Sh300 million) to advise Hassan Tatanaki, “a dubious Libyan oil billionaire and former supporter of the Gadhafi regime who is deeply involved in the Libyan civil war,” Spiegel Online reports.
“Ocampo even used insider information to protect his client from possible prosecution by the ICC. In doing so, one could argue, he betrayed the ideals and spirit of the court,” the German weekly says in its report published on Thursday.
Ocampo served for nine years having being appointed the first ICC prosecutor in 2002 and left in 2012.